The Government of Canada is prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Canada by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-opening our borders. Thanks to the hard work of Canadians, rising vaccination rates and declining COVID-19 cases, the Government of Canada can move forward with adjusted border measures.
Provided the COVID situation is under control, Canada will start accepting U.S. citizens and permanent residents coming from the U.S. as soon as August 9. That same day, Canada will also be getting rid of the hotel quarantine for all travellers. The border will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from all countries on September 7.
On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.
As a first step, starting August 9, 2021, Canada plans to begin allowing entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel. This preliminary step allows for the Government of Canada to fully operationalize the adjusted border measures ahead of September 7, 2021 and recognizes the many close ties between Canadians and Americans.
Fully vaccinated travellers no longer must do on-arrival and day eight testing, but they may be subject to random testing at the border.
To further support these new measures, Transport Canada is expanding the scope of the existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that currently directs scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian Airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport.
Before coming to Canada, all documents need to be submitted to the ArriveCan app or website. All travellers still need a 14-day quarantine plan.
Effective August 9, 2021, international flights carrying passengers will be permitted to land at the following five additional Canadian airports:
- Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
- Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.
- Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport.
- Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport; and
- Edmonton International Airport.
These airports, in cooperation with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada, are working to implement the measures necessary to safely welcome international passengers as soon as possible after August 9, as conditions dictate.
All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, will still require a pre-entry COVID-19 molecular test result. However effective August 9, 2021, the Government of Canada is adjusting its post-arrival testing strategy for fully vaccinated travellers. Using a new border testing surveillance program at airports and land border crossings, fully vaccinated travellers will not need a post-arrival test unless they have been randomly selected to complete a Day 1 COVID-19 molecular test. There are no changes to the mandatory testing requirements for unvaccinated travellers.
This strategy allows the Government of Canada to continue monitoring variants of concern in Canada and vaccine effectiveness. Using these layers of protection, the Government of Canada can monitor the COVID-19 situation in Canada, respond quickly to threats, and guide decisions on restricting international travel.
Finally, with the advent of increased vaccination rates in Canada, declining COVID-19 cases and reduced pressure on health care capacity, the three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case it is determined at the border that they do not meet the necessary requirements.
While Canada continues to trend in the right direction, the epidemiological situation and vaccination coverage is not the same around the world. The Government of Canada continues to advise Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada – international travel increases your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and its variants, as well as of spreading it to others. Border measures also remain subject to change as the epidemiological situation evolves. As Canada looks to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S., the federal government will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated travel advice to Canadians.
Before migrating, Know these facts:
· To be eligible to enter Canada for discretionary travel based on vaccination status, travellers must use the ArriveCAN app or web portal. Travellers must ensure that mandatory requirements are met prior to departing for Canada. In addition, some provinces and territories may have their own entry restrictions in place. Check and follow both the federal and any provincial or territorial restrictions and requirements before travelling.
· In addition to receiving a full series of a vaccine authorized by the Government of Canada, fully vaccinated travellers must also: provide COVID-19-related information electronically through ArriveCAN (app or web portal) including proof of vaccination prior to arrival in Canada; meet the pre-entry testing requirements; be asymptomatic upon arrival; and have a paper or digital copy of their vaccination documentation in English or French (or certified translation) ready to show a government official on request as evidence.
· A person who submits false information on vaccination status could be liable to a fine of up to $750,000 /six months imprisonment or both, under the Quarantine Act, or prosecution under the Criminal Code for forgery. Violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a screening officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to a $5,000 fine for each day of non-compliance or for each offence committed, or more serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines. Non-compliant air travellers may also be subject to fines of up to $5,000 for each offence committed under the Aeronautics Act.
· Based on public health advice, Transport Canada has extended the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that restricts all direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India for an additional 30 days (i.e., until August 21, 2021, at 23:59 EDT). All direct commercial and private passenger flights to Canada from India are subject to the NOTAM. Cargo-only operations, medical transfers or military flights are not included. Transport Canada has also extended the requirement related to third-country pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travellers to Canada from India via an indirect route. This means that passengers who depart India to Canada via an indirect route will continue to be required to obtain a COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country other than India before continuing their journey to Canada.
Measures for unvaccinated children
· Canada will update the rules for children under age 12 who are not eligible for a vaccine. Starting August 9, unvaccinated dependents of fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to complete the full 14-day quarantine. Instead, they will have to follow public health measures for that amount of time. They will still be subject to all entry and testing requirements, including on-arrival and day eight testing. This includes those travelling from the U.S. for discretionary purposes. Officials also said that come September, when tourists from all countries are allowed to enter, these measures will apply to their unvaccinated children as well.
· There is no list of activities that children can and cannot do at this time, but children will have to avoid group settings such as school and day-care in the two-weeks following their arrival to Canada.
· Provinces and territories may have their own rules around people who have recently returned from travel. The government says more details will be available in the coming days.
Proof of vaccination
· On August 9, air carriers will verify travellers coming to Canada have submitted their information through ArriveCAN before boarding. Tourists who are not able to show their ArriveCAN receipt will not be allowed to fly. Airlines will accept the receipt either on their mobile device or a printed copy.
· In addition to the ArriveCAN receipt, travellers are expected to carry their actual vaccine certificate with them to show officials at the border.
· Non-essential travellers allowed to come August 9 only include fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents. They must be residents coming from the States. U.S. temporary residents do not fall under the exemption, nor do U.S. residents coming from a third country.
· Travellers with a right to entry, such as Canadians and other travellers exempt from border restrictions, will have to submit information regarding their vaccination status via ArriveCAN, however they will not be denied boarding if this requirement is not met.
Eased quarantine based on vaccination status
· Those who cannot be fully vaccinated due to health conditions may also qualify for eased quarantine requirements but may be asked to follow a modified quarantine. The government says more details are forthcoming.
· Travellers arriving to Canada by boat will be eligible for eased quarantine and testing if they meet the definition for fully vaccinated. They must also meet pre-entry testing requirements through ArriveCAN, however they can do it when entering Canada since there is no internet connection on the water.
· Again, all travellers still need a quarantine plan prepared in case the border officer determines they do not meet the requirements for an exemption.